« ForrigeFortsæt »
6 I am
a garden sloping to the sea. A ing, is a fortune-seeker in Calisummer day in southern latitudes. fornia.
"And so, after all these years,” “ You will be at my sister's at cried a lady reclining on a cushion- eight o'clock,” Mrs. Travers said; ed sofa, "Henry Fitzgibbon has and at eight o'clock Margaret and come back again !”
her two pupils sat in Mrs. Maurice's "Aye, he has come at last." drawing-room.
so curious to see him. She sat before a side table strewn We must go early, Mr. Travers, and with books, and whiled the time have a talk with him before the away in turning them over. There other people come. And with re- were a few small groups of ladies in gard to the girls, Miss Morton”- the room, making a faint buzz of Mrs. Travers raised herself a little, conversation, but it was not loud and turned her head—"as my sis- enough to interrupt her. ter likes you to be early, you had long while she read undisturbed, better join us about eight.”
until the feeble buzz at last leaped At the far end of the room Mar- into quicker animation, for the garet Morton sits writing, with a drawing-room door was opened, cheek that nine years have paled, and new voices sounded, new faces and a figure that their hand has entered and filled the room. made more slight. All the rounded A few feet from where she sat comeliness of former days is gone; there stood a small empty sofa. and yet that calm, retined, strong Towards this there presently came face is beautiful now with a beanty two persons, and took possession it never possessed of old. The dark of it - Mrs. Travers, and a gentleeyes have a deep tender look in man whose face was strange to them, sometimes sad, oftener com- Margaret. As they sat down it posed and cheerful; for she has was he who spoke first. wrought her way out of that great • Begin from your own marriage, anguish of her youth, and it shades and tell me everything,” he said. her years now only with a silent " What has become of all my old and subdued sadness, not any longer friends? I can scarcely see or hear with passionate sorrow and revolt. of one of them.”
Yet the love that caused tbat “I can give you a score of hisbitter suffering has been the lead- tories,” she answered. “Who shall ing star—the refining element of I begin with ?" And they fell at her life. Its influence has led her once into an animated talk together. in everything that she has done- It might have lasted perhaps for in everything that she has struggled half an hour, when, after a momento become. She has been true to tary pause, Margaret heard these it in her whole heart and being, in words: spite of Philip's injustice, in spite “In the midst of all this,” Mrs. of her own renunciation.
Travers's companion said, “how in She has risen to the position of a the world have you contrived to be governess in a merchant's family. so little changed? To look at you Hither and thither her lot has led I can scarcely believe that I have her, during these nine years, over ever been away; yet the whole that wide American continent: she morning I have been complaining to is now in a pleasant southern town Langton that I cannot recognize a on the coast of Florida. She is all single face I see.” alone in the world. The kind uncle She looked up with an involunwho brought her over is dead; the tary start, but it was only for a sickly mother dead, too, a year ago; moment. She had heard strangers her brother, the only one remain- called by that name before. There
were more Langtons in the world There leaped up to her lips one pitthan hers.
eous cry-one helpless cry of pas** By the way,” Mrs. Traverssionate resistance; and then she said, " who is this Mr. Langton ? rose and went. Away she went, Where did you pick him up ?" from where her hungry eyes had
“ Langton? Oh, he is a man rested, to the dimly-lighted terrace. with some name in political circles “Now take my arm; we will walk in England. He is just now secre- for a little here." tary to Lord
She answered, "Yes," but she " He is not in the room at pres- could not do it. She tried, and ent, is he? I am so blind—but I walked a dozen steps; the suddon't see him."
denly stood still and cried“No; he and Travers got into a "Let me sit down." discussion together, and we left She leant against a pillar near them to fight it out."
her. They turned the talk back to “ Mrs. Carlton, let me sit down! their own affairs. With a low sigh Here, where it is not light; oh here, Margaret stooped her face again where it is not light !” she cried. upon her book. “It is not Philip, “My dear, there is no seat: stand it is not Philip,” she whispered to still one moment." herself. Bending her head she Pausing to ask no questions, shaded her eyes, and for a minute Mrs. Carlton hurried to the house. closed their lids; and before her She was absent for a few seconds; attitude was altered, before her then she returned, and not alone. eyes were reopened, there fell upon Another arm was laden with the her ear the long-unheard voice. chair that she had gone to find, and
" How beautiful your open sea another band set it by Margaret's here is,” it said. “ It brings to my side. mind the only place where I ever " Thank you, Mr. Langton. Now, lived before by the open sea—a lit- my dear, sit down. You will be tle village in the south of England.” better soon in this fresh air."
She looked up and saw him. She sat down as she was bidden; That vision that nine years had helplessly, without a word.
She robbed her of; that lover to whose gave no thanks. memory her life, with all its strug- Having come, he stayed. Degles, successes, endurances, had liberately and at once he took the been an offering. There, before place where she had stood, and her, his foot within a pace of where leant where she had leant against she sat, bis dark familiar face clear the pillar. He stood with his face in her sight; familiar, and yet partly towards her, with the light how strange, after this absence, this silence, this abnegation of nine We shall never teach this northyears.
ern snowdrop to bear our southern A band was laid kindly on her warmth,” Mrs. Carlton said. “Mr. arm, and on her ear came the tones Langton, are all your countryof another voice
women so hard to accustom to new 66 You feel this room very hot," climates ? Are they all such fragit said, “ do you not, Miss Mor- ile creatures as this one ?” ton? I am sure you are hot, you He turned his head where Marlook so pale and tired. Come away
garet sat, and looked at her. Folwith me, and let us take a little lowing that look there came no walk upon the terrace."
change upon his face, no token in The outstretched hand drew her him of recognition, nothing but this from her seat. Oh this was cruel! quiet answer
" You are used to a warmer color- He answered, “Yes.” ing here. Our northern snows rob “Are you going farther south ?” English women of that.”
"No; I shall retrace my steps " And yet England is a good way from the pole. And you are not like ** But not at once, I hope ?" a snowdrop, Mr. Langton, at all." “I may leave to-morrow. If not
"I am scarcely English; my to-morrow, still as soon as possible.” mother was an Italian.”
Sitting in the shadow, Margaret " Was she? I did not know. And heard, and listed up her head, have you lived in Italy? Ah, Mr. swiftly, suddenly, driven by the Langton!” she cried suddenly, in a startling cry of her sharp misery. quick outburst of her southern en- She lifted up her head, and her thusiasm, “ tell me about Italy. raised eyes sawWhat parts of it do you know? Oh! this was no stranger's look Do you
know Rome and Venice? upon her--this was no stranger's Ah, tell me about them.”
gaze, sending its keen light through Her request was eager, but he her! was very slow to do her bidding. “ So soon as to-morrow? Why, Possibly his thoughts were occu- Mr. Langton, you will have seen pied to-night with other things than nothing." Italy's falling palaces and walls; * I shall have seen what I came yet presently her quick question- to see,” he answered. ings roused him : he warmed and “Ah well! About that I cannot spoke. There, where the light fell speak," she said laughing; and on his face, illumining each kind- there was a few moments' pause, ling lineament, he stood and talked which was broken presently by a to her of the mighty cities of the sound of music coming through the south.
opened door. It was a thing that might have That is Mrs. Travers's voice," been a dream, so strange, unreal; Mrs. Carlton said. “Mr. Langton, the southern summer night and the you must come and hear her, she softened lights; the scene so unlike has the finest voice I know. Miss all scenes of home, and yet in the Morton will you remain here, or midst of it, so calmly, quietly min- come with us? You had better gling with it, that one home figure, both come.” the centre star of Margaret's life. She went forward towards the But even he so changed. All calm- door, and Mr. Langton followed ed, softened, refined; the old dark her. One moment Margaret saw face, dark and irregular still, but in the two figures stand upon the its whole expression grown so full threshold; then one went forward of harmony and strength; its restive and the other retraced his steps. pride composed, its aggressive tem- He came back in silence, calmly per all subdued.
and quietly, to the place that he had She listened to him as he talked, left, into Margaret's full sightlistened at first with a strange there where she sat motionless, her thrilling wonder of deliglit, then clasped hands as he neared her only presently with a nameless sickening closing their fingers tighter. pain. Oh! she had striven all these He stood before her in silence years to reach up to his height, and for several moments; then, through he bad left her in the race, as if she the distant music, she heard his had not run.
voice. " And now, after all your Euro- “She said I should see nothing," pean wanderings,” Mrs. Carlton he said abruptly. “She was wrong. said, " you have at last come here.” Shall I tell you what I have seen ?" His eyes were directed towards gether, and her eyes, fixed on his her, but be did not wait for her to face, were troubled and dark. She speak. Before she could reply he stood one moment shivering; then spoke again.
all ber love rose in a wild defence, “She told me to tell her about and out of that nine years' silence ruined cities. There are other leaped this cryruins besides fallen stones. One " It bas not ceased l oh, the pain such," and his voice sank into in- has not ceased !” finite tenderness, “I have seen to- Her head fell down upon her night,—a temple that I left entire parted hands, she bid her face upon -fresh from God's hand.”
them, and broke with passionate She rose up suddenly from her helplessness into a low piteous sob. seat and stood before him with her And then as she stood there desslight figure erect, and with all that olate, once more, in its deep loving she had in her of gentle pride tenderness, she heard his voicegathered upon her face.
“Margaret, I have been faithful,” “My white face does me wrong he cried. “In spite of that harsh to-night,” she said. “I am no ruin. wrong I have lived for you. I have I have known sorrow, as others worked for you. I came to pray have; but no sorrow I have felt bas for more than forgiveness. I came crushed me.
I have grown to look to pray for my reward." old, perhaps; but I am not young It was far away that English vilnow, even in years."
lage by the old familiar sea, yet, His dark face had for a moment before his tones had died away, thrown off its mask, but all tender- how there flashed back on her a ness that in word or look had be- picture of it, clearer than the sight gun to appear in bim shrank back of tropic land. She lifted up her before her words. The pause that eyes—the loving gaze of old was on came when she ceased to speak was her face; she raised her arms—they broken by this cold reply:
fell to their old place upon his neck; “If there has been no suffering she spoke to him. then my petition may be granted Long years ago he had told her the more easily. I have come a
to wait for' him till he came back. long way,” he said slowly, " to ask Like a child delivering up its trust, your forgiveness for a wrong done she whispered -to you long ago." He paused for a “ I have waited !" moment, and then his voice grew
That was all. From him there bitter as he ended. “It will cost only came one passionate low utteryon little to grant it. When the ance of her name. Then between pain of a wrong has ceased, we can them there was perfect silence, and forgive the wronger easily." they stood beneath the tropic trees
She bad been very calm out. as they had stood nine years before wardly when she bad spoken, but under the sea-cliff at Brent. now her hands were crushed to
THE CATHOLICS AND THE CENTENNIAL.
The golden maxim, "Man, know the very charming and almost inthyself,” applies not only to the exhaustible theme upon which we study of ourselves as the noblest have the pleasure of speaking to of God's creation, but likewise to you this evening. our relations with those various The troublesome period of the forms of government in which our Revolution, with all its clamor and conduct as men and citizens may tumult, with all the evils of existrender us suited or unsuited to the ing distresses, and all the dread inpart we are called to play in society. fluence of threatening power, affords
As men we must study our rela- a grand source for the commencetions to our fellow-man, how we ment of the history of a people. may best fulfil our obligations to It is difficult to give this subject the government that we rejoice in the appearance of originality, for calling our own, not because we within the last few years it has established it, but because we are forined the theme of many pens. called through our personal respon- This need not deter us from entersibilities and obligations, as far as ing into a discussion of the question, in us lies, to defend and perpetuate for truth like beauty is ever new, it.
and, however ancient, can Simply as citizens this obligation grow old. is binding; as Christians another Nearly a century ago the nalink is placed to this chain of duty, tion was writhing under the yoke while as Catholics, meinbers of a and insults of regal tyranny, church always on the side of the and a foreign power was exweak, we are doubly bound to hausting its resources and dwarfing study our position in a government its growth. The few undaunted which professes equal respect for heroes, who looked around with the poor as for the rich, and while the agonized aspect which none but submitting to all laws made for the suffering patriots can assume, beamelioration of the condition of held nothing but weaponless men both, repel, with the energy of con- and defenceless families. This was scious duty, anything that might the time that "tried men's souls," tend to circumvent or destroy the and cooled the courage of the braglorious privileges secured by our vest. Mighty minds and brave venerable predecessors of 1776. hearts trembled at the disparity
No portion of American history of the belligerents, but, with the has greater charms for the Catholic courage and fortitude of heroes, student than the relations of the men gathered to defend their coundeeds of our fathers, and this prob- try and their honor; they gathered ably induced our professors, than from the houses of the wealthy and whom none are more faithful citi- from the hovels of the poor; from zens, and the proprietors of the the lofty mountains and the wild CATHOLIC RECORD, than whom none prairies; the farmer abandoned his do more to elevate the intellectual plough and the hunter his sport, condition of our people,—this, per- and with brave resolves and daring mit us. to say, has probably sug- deeds they entered upon the trials gested to them the propriety of and afflictions that have followed giving the students of La Salle their lonely marches and watched College, for the subject of their their weary vigils; that have cást prize essay in the graduating class, a shade of sadness over their mem